Reinterpreting Coatlicue: The Sculptural Narrative of Defeat at the Shrine of Huitzilopochtli


Renée Miller

Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Research Paper

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

School of Art and Art History, College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Annabeth Headrick


Coyolxauhqui, Coatlicue, Aztecs, Mythology, Sex, Religious aspects


"Images of the decapitated, dismembered female warrior Coyolxauhqui, a main character in the Mexica mythology of Huitzilopochtli, figured prominently in Imperial Mexica sculptural campaigns at the Templo Mayor. However, monoliths of a terrifying, dismembered female from the shrine have traditionally been identified as Huitzilopochtli’s nurturing mother Coatlicue, or permutations of goddesses. Such studies do not adequately address why these sculptures depict mutilated beings whose characteristics are antithetical to Coatlicue’s appropriate female behavior depicted in myths and images"

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.

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